Today is the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft and ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has just released his final mock draft of the year. We've been following his previous selections for the Saints all off-season but this final mock is probably the most unique and most surprising for New Orleans thus far because Kiper has highly touted Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers tumbling all the way down to the Saints at 24th overall. And he's just too good for the Saints to pass up...
Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Like Amukamara falling to No. 20, I have reservations seeing Bowers this far down the board, but it's a numbers game. I also think that while I'm pretty confident in his future given what I know of his medical reports, any injury chatter will scare a few teams off. What you have in a healthy Bowers, however, is a truly gifted pass-rusher, the kind of guy that is scheme-versatile and has big-time athleticism to go with an arsenal of moves. The Saints need help in the pass rush. If Bowers lands here, they should be thrilled.
If Mel Kiper is so sure that Bowers' health concerns aren't cause for concern then I would imagine other teams doing their homework know the same thing, meaning it's doubtful Bowers would fall this far. So I wouldn't get too excited, Saints fans. But I've got to agree that should the situation present itself, the Saints would just have to jump at the chance to select Bowers.
What do you guys think? Could Da'Quan Bowers fall this far? Should/would the Saints take Bowers in a heartbeat?
Canal Street Chronicles will be having an live open thread for the draft starting at 6pm CT as well as plenty of post-draft coverage and a live call-in podcast following the Saints pick.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft.